• Capulin Volcano National Monument by J. Unruh

    Capulin Volcano

    National Monument New Mexico

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  • Road Work

    Expect delays due to road work on HWY 64/87 west of Capulin, between Capulin and Raton, NM.

  • Picnic Area Restrooms Closed

    Restrooms at the picnic area are temporarily closed. The restrooms in the Visior Center and in the Volcano Rim parking lot are open. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Plants

Capulin Volcano prairie

NPS A. BUCCANERO

Capulin Volcano National Monument lies within the transition from the high elevations of the Rocky Mountains to the sweeping grasslands of the Great Plains. The slopes of the volcano are primarily pinyon/juniper woodlands and the lower plains are shortgrass and mixed grass prairie.

Species lists and information are available on the forest and prairie ecosystem pages.

Lichens

Lichens.

NPS A. BUCCANERO

Life on the monument began not with grasses or trees, but with an essential life form that created a hospitable landscape at Capulin for other organisms to grow. Lichens are a partnership of fungi and algae that attach themselves and grow on impossible surfaces - including bare rock. Capulin's cinder cone is composed of igneous rock, which has and continues to be slowly broken down by the lichen's release of weak acids, creating soil. Lichens are impressive in their ability to live in extreme conditions from deserts, to the arctic, to high elevations.

Did You Know?

RCVF

Capulin Volcano is just one of about one hundred volcanic features in the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field which covers about 8000 square miles in northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado.